Krémègne, Pinchas

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KRÉMÈGNE, PINCHAS (1890–1981), sculptor and painter. Krémègne was born in Vilna, and went in 1912 to Paris, with Chaim *Soutine, in the movement of East-European Jewish artists that evolved into the *Paris School of Art. He first exhibited as a sculptor, but from 1915 onward only painted. At first influenced by Matisse and Fauvism, Krémègne developed a more relaxed style in which masterly composition is matched by delightful color. He painted a considerable number of still lifes, studio interiors and portraits, but in addition a considerable group of landscapes of France, Corsica, Sweden, and Israel. Highly considered in Paris, Krémègne's work was described by the critic Maximilien Gauthier as "Judaic disenchantment." This unusual phrase possibly suggests the detachment in Krémègne's oeuvre, in contrast to the paintings of Chagall and Soutine. There is, in fact, far less "Jewish" content to his work, except for the warm humanity of his subject matter and treatment. Krémègne's work is represented in leading French museums and also in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]